The risk of transplant rejection (otherwise known as Graft Vs. Host Disease or GVHD) is one of the foremost concerns for both doctors and patients when it comes to stem cell treatment for certain autoimmune diseases, blood diseases, cancers, and metabolic disorders. When the only option for treatment is a cord blood transplant or stem cell therapy, donor/patient compatibility is essential to mitigating risk for this type of potentially lifesaving procedure.
Donor compatibility is determined by Human Leukocyte Antigens (HLA) matching. HLA are protein markers in a human body’s immune system which essentially determine which cells belong in your body, and which don’t.
GVHD occurs when the donor’s HLA markers are not compatible with the patient. The patient’s immune system will see the transplant as a foreign body that needs to be removed, and therefore fight to reject the transplant.
In order to minimize the risk of GVHD, 4 out of 6 HLA markers must match between the donor and the patient.
Cord Blood Banking is the Solution
When a person needs stem cells to treat a life threatening disease, using their own cord blood that was saved when they were born is often the best solution. The cord blood stem cells will always be a perfect HLA match for the person that they came from, and the best way to guarantee that the stem cells will be a 100% HLA match is to use an individual's own cord blood.
However, the importance of HLA type matching also means banked cord blood stem cells can be used as a potential treatment option for family members in the event of a life-threatening disease as well.
Transplant recipients who are full siblings (from the same two biological parents) of the child whose cord blood was banked have about a 60% chance of being an HLA match that is suitable for transplant (4 of 6 matching HLA markers). Biological parents of the child have approximately a 25% chance of being a suitable HLA match.
A life-threatening disease or condition can show up unexpectedly at any time. Private cord blood banking can prove to be a much better option than waiting for months or even years on a donor list hoping to find a match in a public bank. Private banking of your baby’s cord blood stem cells is a great way to help protect your family’s healthy future.
Choosing the right cord blood bank is an important decision for your family. MiracleCord’s cord blood storage options are at an affordable price point and our state-of-the-art cryogenic storage facilities ensure your investment is well protected. In additional, our $100,000 Quality Guarantee will give you peace of mind knowing you’ve made the right choice in securing your family’s healthy future.